Monday, November 30, 2009

swordfight sequence

love you tube..someone captured the sequence where I did a bunch of anims on the swordfight sequence and the jump to the other table. Telltale rocks...they make everything they touch fun.

google wave invites

i have a few more to hand out if anyone needs one

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

muppets. just because.

fun theory I'm just spreading some viral marketing around, but my lesson of the day, and I have few to give really, is have fun while you work! Animation can be a dull plodding process if you lose focus. Sometimes it's good to forget about the details and refocus on the intent of making something entertaining!

Monday, November 23, 2009



static composition


narrow range of motion

devin15 devin16

explore foreground/alternate staging

Some nice things going on here, but right now the biggest problem is still staging. It's composed like you're sitting in the audience of a play. Looking at the yellow sketchover I did, there's clear shapes the characters fit into and never leave, adding to a static feel. Looking at the sketch underneath that, it's a range of motion ghosted image composite. In a nutshell, your character is bolted in place in a widely framed composition, which demands at least a solid weightshift. I don't mind the acting on the guy, but she needs to solidify her performance a bit. Maybe take a step or 2 and then turn away. Or explore alternate compositions to focus on more detailed performance. I quickly did 2 cut and paste versions to see how the characters hold up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

art thief

read JD's blog

While the adage imitation is the sincerest form of flattery holds true, it hold true to a degree. Copying, is, well, cheating, in the world of animation. That goes for taking credit for other people's work as well. But Aysha Khan, you've made it to the wall of shame!

Sometimes animation is collaborative...shots are shared. Rigs are borrowed, etc. But give credit to who deserves it, and never plagurize. It's a very small industry and theft of ideas, or anything else, for that matter, will bite you in the tush. Guaranteed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

shelf buttons….tangent switching

I mentioned a workflow I use of switching tangent types even in the early stages of an animation to evaluate timing.

Here’s a few shelf buttons/mel commands you can use to avoid having to do a lot of clicking in maya. Just save the icons to your images directory and add them in. Were I more clever, I’d build a UI for this. The first 3 scripts change selected keys in the timeline (or graph editor) to different tangent types. The following 3 determine what sort of keys you’ll set next. Enjoy! They save me a ton of time.



//change selected keys to linear
keyTangent -global -itt linear;
keyTangent -global -ott linear;

//change selected keys to stepped
keyTangent -global -itt flat;
keyTangent -global -ott step;

pl //change selected keys to plateau
keyTangent -global -itt plateau;
keyTangent -global -ott plateau;

//change key type to linear
evalEcho "timeSliderSetTangent linear";
timeSliderSetTangent linear;

//key type to stepped
evalEcho "timeSliderSetTangent step";
timeSliderSetTangent step;

//change timeslider to plateau
evalEcho "timeSliderSetTangent plateau";
timeSliderSetTangent plateau;


since there have been a LOT of missed assignments, I'm giving the weekend to email in any missing grading period is next wed, so the cutoff is monday at noon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

kamil crit

some quick sketchovers...notes to follow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

aaron hartline....process video

>click here<

I love watching Aaron Hartline's process vids. The interesting thing with blocking is that by definition it's's incomplete with only partial information, but manages to really communicate a lot with a few poses and continues improving/adding/refining with each pass.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

compositional inspiration

I'm pretty much a sucker for all things noir. In planning out an animation, it's easy to want to worry about the camera later on. This turns out to always be a mistake, as you can get to the heart of your shot much faster if you treat the camera as another character.

What I love about noir is that lighting, composition and set all pull together as a primary aspect of storytelling. Foremost, it sets up a sense of drama...sillhouetted characters against light fog...characters faces shadowed under wide brimmed hats. The cliches abound, but for me, it gets intersting when the characters are small onscreen and the background elements played up. It gives a sense that the protagonist is up against forces much larger. The use of shadow as a framing device that enhances sillhouette adds drama.

Not that I'm advocating the over use of heavy shadow, but the idea of using the environment as a storytelling device, and the use of strong foreground and background elements has merit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

choosing dialogue

Since this week is the first week of dialogue driven animation, aka lip synch, aka acting, I thought I'd mention a few things to consider in choosing a line of dialogue

10-12 seconds. This is a good length for the remainder of term. Too long, and it may be difficult to complete with any sense of polish. Too short and it limits your options.

Pacing. Choose something with a variable rhythm to it. I like to think of jazz drumming in considering variable patterns. Too often a line is chosen because of the entertainment value it has without factoring in how you might animate it.

Avoid the Gag. Be wary of going for humor through a single gag, where you arrive at a snappy punchline. If done right, it can work, but if the reliance is on the gag and not leading a situation up to a dramatic conclusion, humorous or otherwise, it can feel cheap.

Don't use something everyone knows. It's a challenge, but if you grab an Adam Sandler clip off of, chances are people know it and will think of the source before they think of your animation.

more to follow..

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monkey Island

Telltale just released the newest episode of Monkey Island. I did a couple of shots, one of which was used as a promotional still (disclaimer, as they provided pretty detailed layouts)! This project was a huge treat, and I really geeked out on working on these iconic characters.